Microchip's Programmable Gain Amplifier Offers Digital Control Over Analog

4/2/2003 - Microchip Technology (Nasdaq: MCHP), a leader in providing Microcontroller and Analog Semiconductors, introduced its first programmable gain amplifier, which enables users to have digital control of the analog domain, with the integration of an amplifier, MUX, and gain control selected via a SPITM bus.

Known as the MCP6S2x, this product family gives digital control over the amplifier function and design. The devices are programmed over the SPI bus enabling the user to have control of the gain and input channel selection. This gives designers system flexibility that otherwise could not be achieved easily. In addition, the PGA removes the need for feedback and input resistors, which decreases cost and reduces board space.

“This is a truly innovative way to interface several analog signals to a microcontroller,” said Art Eck, marketing manager for Microchip’s Analog and Interface Product Division. “Our devices provide the flexibility to configure the system gain and signal path during operation. This helps with self calibration and other system operation adjustments while the end application is in actual use, making our product something that can be programmed ‘in the field and on the fly’.”

The SPI bus is used to select the gain level and the input channel providing analog input expansion for the microcontroller. This reduces the cost of the microcontroller by lowering the number of input/output pins needed. Moreover, the multiple channels for the same signal path enables system self-calibration of the analog signal path, enhancing accuracy over time and temperature. Target applications for this product include industrial and instrumentation markets as well as signal and sensor processing.

Available in 1-, 2-, 6-, and 8-channel inputs this product has eight-gain steps with an amplifier bandwidth of 2 MHz to 12 MHz. The broad bandwidth is achieved in these amplifiers for a lower supply current, which reduces power supply demands. This device has a supply voltage operation of 5.5 to 2.5V and operates over the –40 degree C to +125 degree C range. Additionally, it offers low noise of 10 nV/rtHz and low offset voltage 150uV, TDH+N 0.0012 percent, 200ns settling time and gain steps of 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 16 & 32V/V.

The MCP6S21 is available in 8-PDIP, SOIC and MSOP package; it is priced at $0.84 in 1000-piece units. The MCP6S22 is available in 8-PDIP, SOIC and MSOP at a price of $1.00 in 1000-piece units. The MCP6S26 is available in 14-PDIP, SOIC and TSSOP; it is priced at $1.53 in 1000-piece units. The MCP6S28 is available in 16-PDIP, SOIC and TSSOP at a price of $1.76 in 1000-piece units. Samples and volume quantities are available in March. For additional information or pricing on these devices, contact any Microchip sales representative or authorized worldwide distributor or visit www.microchip.com.

About Microchip Technology
Microchip has integrated analog technology, peripherals and features to meet today's demanding design requirements. Our broad spectrum of analog products addresses thermal management, power management, mixed-signal, linear and interface solutions. Combined with “Intelligent Analog” microcontrollers, Microchip offers an extensive analog portfolio for thousands of high-performance design applications in the automotive, communications (wireless), consumer, computing and industrial control markets.

Microchip Technology Inc. manufactures the popular PICmicro® field-programmable RISC microcontrollers, which serve 8- and 16-bit embedded control applications, and a broad spectrum of high performance linear and mixed-signal, power management and thermal management devices. The Company also offers complementary microperipheral products including interface devices; microID® RFID devices; serial EEPROMs; and the patented KEELOQ® security devices. This synergistic product portfolio targets thousands of applications and a growing demand for high-performance designs in the automotive, communications, computing, consumer and industrial control markets. The Company's quality systems are ISO 9001 (1994 version) and QS9000 (1998 version) certified. Microchip is headquartered in Chandler, Arizona with design facilities in Mountain View, Calif., Bangalore, India; and a European Design Center in Lausanne, Switzerland; semiconductor fabrication facilities in Tempe and Chandler, Ariz.; Gresham, Ore.; and Puyallup, Wash.; and assembly and test operations near Bangkok, Thailand. Microchip employs approximately 3,350 people worldwide and has sales offices throughout Asia, Europe, Japan and the Americas. More information on the Company can be found at www.microchip.com.

The Microchip name and logo, PIC, PICmicro, microID and KEELOQ are registered trademarks of Microchip Technology Inc. in the USA and other countries. SPITM is a trademark of Motorola.

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